The dearth of crowd and a tough courtroom could tilt the steadiness barely away from host Latvia, however main gamers Jelena Ostapenko and Anastasija Sevastova are assured of taking part in their finest in opposition to India within the Billie Jean King Cup (erstwhile Fed Cup) World group play-off tennis tie.
“It’s not enjoyable for me to play and not using a crowd. (However) We’re able to go,” mentioned Grand Slam champion Ostapenko on the draw ceremony in Jurmala on Thursday. She’s going to tackle Ankita Raina within the first match on Friday, adopted by Karman Kaur Thandi in opposition to Sevastova.
“It’s powerful with out spectators at dwelling. We’re glad to play. We now have to be at our greatest,” mentioned the Forty seventh-ranked Sevastova. Conceding that the onerous courtroom as an alternative of clay was “good for workforce India”, the 31-year-old Sevastova mentioned that she had performed on the courts from the age of 10 and would nonetheless really feel at dwelling.
“We’re able to put up a troublesome battle,” mentioned India captain Vishaal Uppal. Enjoying for the primary time at this stage, Uppal felt that the “dwelling crowd stress” is not going to be there on the Indians.
“Glad to have this chance. I all the time play the perfect when taking part in for the nation. I’m excited for the tie,” mentioned Ankita, blissful to take the load of taking part in three of the 5 rubbers within the tie.
“Quick or gradual onerous courtroom doesn’t matter. It is a chance to play in opposition to good gamers. I’m trying ahead to it,” mentioned Karman.
“On day one, I believed Karman may give us a little bit further. It was a troublesome choice. I’ve gone with my intestine,” mentioned Uppal about choosing Karman forward of Rutuja Bhosale.
Karman summed it up properly about Fed Cup being rechristened. “It’s an honour for us to characterize this model. Billie Jean King stood up for equality and social justice.”
The draw: April 16: Ankita Raina vs Jelena Ostapenko (8.30 p.m. IST) adopted by Karman Kaur Thandi vs Anastasija Sevastova.
April 17: Ankita vs Sevastova (4.30 p.m. IST); Karman vs Ostapenko; Ankita & Sania Mirza vs Diana Marcinkevica & Daniela Vismane.
Dwell telecast on EuroSport.